Kermit Cintron won a world title at welterweight. Take away two suspicious losses to the disgraced cheater Antonio Margarito and he's never lost as a welterweight. He has almost insurmountable physical gifts of height and superior strength as a welterweight.
And so, after losing three of four in a disastrous 18-month stretch, what's he going to do to get his career back on track?
He's going back to welterweight.
"I feel that it's always been my weight," explained the former champion. "I took my last couple fights at I54 lbs. because they were good opportunities, but you know I was always a better fighter at 147. I didn't gain the weight of a true 154 pounder. I went up to 153 lbs. on fight night, while the guys I was fighting went up to 170 to 175 lbs. I feel that 147-lbs is where I belong. I'm already on weight and I have a week left. It was never a problem to make welterweight."
"EL Asesino" Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs) will face Chicago attraction Adrian "EL Tigre" Granados (11-2-1, 7 KOs) in the ESPN Friday Night Fights televised 10-round co-main event presented by 8 Count Productions, Round 3 Productions and Warriors Boxing on Friday, March 22, 2013 at Chicago's UIC Pavilion.
In the main event, Windy City favorite Donovan "Da Bomb" George will battle former world title challenger David "The Destroyer" Lopez of Nogales, Mexico in a 10-round middleweight bout
Cintron says he did a lot of soul-searching after his last fight, a TKO5 loss to Canelo Alvarez in November 2011.
"I didn't want to think about boxing after the Canelo fight. I just wanted to go home and spend time with my kids. My family is important to me and I think that going away for camps eight or nine weeks at a time was getting to me. I was focusing too much on what my kids were doing, wondering if they were ok. After a while, my kids started asking when I'm fighting again? They said 'we want to see you on TV.' My kids still want me fight, so here I am."
Cintron, from Reading, Pennsylvania, says he decided to go back to what got him to the lofty heights of boxing despite a very minimal amateur career.
"I'm training at home around family and Milton Santiago is my new trainer. I've known him since I was eight years old. If I wanted to come back, the only person I had in mind to train me was Milton. He's the true coach that brought me to the gym when I was in school. So I'm going back to my roots, back to basics, and that's what I did. We've been working together the past six months. I have my own boxing gym called the Kermit Cintron Boxing Gym in Reading, Pennsylvania where Milton trains me. On the days I need to spar, I go to Philly and get some good sparring in."
Cintron says reports of his decline as a fighter and tumble from the ranks of serious contender are irresponsible.
"That's how the media is. All they do is a lot of talking. I really ignore those comments from people. I'm not a shot fighter. I had a rough year, that's it. You'll see. I have lots left. I have dedicated myself to the sport once again. I'm feeling great and I've improved. You guys will see.
Having signed with a new promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, Cintron says he's rejuvenated and eager to get back where he belongs: as a top 147-lb fighter.
"I just want to fight. I'm excited to come back after 16 months off. I'm excited and rejuvenated and ready to go."
Presented by 8 Count Productions, Round 3 Productions, Warriors Boxing and Blue Wave Boxing, advance tickets to ESPN Friday Night Fights are priced at $150, $100, $50 and $30 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000 ), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.
Doors will open on the night of the event at 7pm CT with the first bout scheduled for 8:00pm CT.
The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Racine, at the corner of Harrison and Racine on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago.
A full undercard featuring many of Chicago's best prospects and fan favorites will be announced shortly for this event.